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vertebrate

[vur-tuh-brit, -breyt] /ˈvɜr tə brɪt, -ˌbreɪt/
adjective
1.
having vertebrae; having a backbone or spinal column.
2.
belonging or pertaining to the Vertebrata (or Craniata), a subphylum of chordate animals, comprising those having a brain enclosed in a skull or cranium and a segmented spinal column; a major taxonomic group that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.
noun
3.
a vertebrate animal.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30; < Latin vertebrātus jointed. See vertebra, -ate1
Related forms
nonvertebrate, adjective, noun
subvertebrate, noun, adjective
unvertebrate, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vertebrate
  • They both claim to have identified the world's smallest known vertebrate.
  • They were also the first to note that the lancelet resembles a vertebrate.
  • It is also true that the introduction of big money has permanently changed vertebrate paleontology.
  • But the mammalian system was thought to represent a general rule among vertebrate species.
  • The vertebrate eye has been the favorite example of an irreducibly complex structure that can't function when you remove a piece.
  • Yet a number of fruits contain chemicals that vertebrate species find unpalatable.
  • Its brain cavity in proportion to the size of its body was more diminutive than that of any other vertebrate.
  • The new discovery poses a dilemma: mammals are now the only major vertebrate group where parthenogenesis has not been observed.
  • Conodonts are some of our earliest vertebrate ancestors.
  • Indeed, such benefits may explain why the rostral nostril rule applies to almost all vertebrate animals.
British Dictionary definitions for vertebrate

vertebrate

/ˈvɜːtɪˌbreɪt; -brɪt/
noun
1.
any chordate animal of the subphylum Vertebrata, characterized by a bony or cartilaginous skeleton and a well-developed brain: the group contains fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals
adjective
2.
of, relating to, or belonging to the subphylum Vertebrata
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vertebrate
n.

1826, from Latin vertebratus (Pliny), from vertebra "joint or articulation of the body, joint of the spine" (see vertebra).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vertebrate in Medicine

vertebrate ver·te·brate (vûr'tə-brĭt, -brāt')
adj.

  1. Having a spinal column.

  2. Of or characteristic a vertebrate.

n.
A member of the subphylum Vertebrata.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vertebrate in Science
vertebrate
  (vûr'tə-brĭt, -brāt')   
Any of a large group of chordates of the subphylum Vertebrata (or Craniata), characterized by having a backbone. Vertebrates are bilaterally symmetrical and have an internal skeleton of bone or cartilage, a nervous system divided into brain and spinal cord, and not more than two pairs of limbs. Vertebrates have a well-developed body cavity (called a coelom) containing a chambered heart, large digestive organs, liver, pancreas, and paired kidneys, and their blood contains both red and white corpuscles. Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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